White Squall Blu-ray Review: Boys Bonding on Boats

Ridley Scott’s White Squall is an action/adventure/disaster tale based on a true story that takes place on a brigantine ship – it has a lot of sails – called the Albatross. The Albatross is set up like a semester or two at sea for troubled high-school and college-age kids. They will travel half the world while learning how to sail a ship and earning credits for back home.

Buy White Squall (Special Edition) Blu-ray

The captain is Dr. Christopher “Skipper” Sheldon (Jeff Bridges) whose job it is to form his youthful, unknowledgeable sailors into a cohesive whole. His wife, Alice Sheldon (Caroline Goodall), will teach math and science and serves as the ship’s nurse. John Savage plays McCrea, the oft-Shakespeare quoting, of course, English teacher. Last among the adults is the chef, Girard Pascal (Julio Oscar Mechoso).

There are about a dozen youths on the trip, so they are appropriately separated into types and around four or five of them are allowed to stand for the rest of the crew. First is Chuck Geig (played exceptionally well by a young Scott Wolf), who doesn’t know what he wants out of life, but he does know that sailing on a boat for nearly a year has an inevitable draw on his adventurous young mind. Frank Beaumont (Jeremy Sisto) is the passionate young man who passionately hates his controlling parents.

Gil Martin (Ryan Phillipe) lost his brother not long ago and has yet to forgive his parents for what he believes to be their role in the incident. And Dean Preston (Eric Michael Cole) is the generic “bad” boy. It is the Skipper’s job to get these boys to work together through a series of slight and also dangerous mishaps. It is a working ship, after all, and the boys all have work to do to carry out daily operations.

All this brings us to the white squall that will eventually keelhaul all their plans. A white squall is apparently a violent windstorm at sea that lacks the characteristic black clouds that would typically serve as a warning. In other words, they don’t see it coming, and it is soon argued that nobody could have foretold a white squall. There is a prosecution that claims there is no proof that white squalls even exist. It is time for the boys to either come together once and for all or stay separate forever.

Bonus Features:

  • Production Featurette with Stars Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, Scott Wolf and Director Ridley Scott
  • 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Audio
  • Theatrical Trailer

White Squall is an exceptionally exciting adventure story. The direction, writing, and superb acting across the board lead to full sails ahead.

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Greg Hammond

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